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Today, we packed our bags and loaded up the car
and, in that great British tradition,
we've headed off to the seaside
for a day of fun and sun, here at Weston-super-Mare.
Welcome to Flog It! CHEERING
Our valuation day venue is the iconic Grand Pier
which has seen several incarnations in its 111-year history.
Initially built as a promenading pier,
it has been destroyed by fire once, in 1930, and then again, in 2008.
Each time, it was rebuilt as a pleasure pier.
Completed in an impressive eight months,
it was opened in June, 1904,
and charged an entrance fee of two old pence.
But there's no charge for our owners today,
who are all hoping to make a small fortune at auction,
if they're one of the lucky ones to get picked.
Hundreds of people have turned up, laden with bags and boxes,
full of all sorts of antiques and collectibles, and they're all here
to see our experts to ask that all-important question, which is...
-What's it worth?
-Stay tuned and you'll find out.
And rummaging through the bags and boxes today are Jonathan Pratt.
Minton vase. Nice, big and impressive. Condition looks good.
Just like his fellow expert, Thomas Plant.
And it looks like Thomas has spied something else in the crowds.
Where's he gone? There he is.
-JP, what have you got there?
-Oh, a nice bit of jewellery, isn't it?
-Have you been here before?
-Never been here before.
-No, have you?
-I am a local boy.
-Are you really?
-I am a local boy. I used to come with my grandmother...
-With your knitted shorts on.
-Knitted shorts, ice creams.
-You have the upper hand.
-I don't have the upper hand
because I'm full of emotion.
It's already a day of memories and that's just Thomas!
Let's hope he's able to control his emotions.
As the crowds take their seats,
here's a sneak preview of what's to come.
-It's lights, camera, action, isn't it?
-Something like that, yeah.
But nothing's black and white. Will it be snapped up by the bidders?
I'll be finding out more about the seaside pier
and its chequered history. It's sad to see it like that, it really is.
But it wasn't always like that.
And one of our items doubles its reserve at auction but which one?
-It's still going.
-380 bid. 400 bid.
-Get in there! Yes!
As you can see, we're surrounded by entertainment machines.
There's penny slot machines everywhere.
There's even a ghost train over there and looking at this lot,
I think we could be in for a jolly good ride today.
-Are you going to have fun? ALL:
-That's what it's all about!
We're going to join up with our experts
to see what we can find to take off to auction.
Right, Philip. What have you got here?
-It's a nice little cake stand, isn't it?
-It's a lovely cake stand.
It's not a mirror. I've seen them hanging on walls as mirrors before.
-There's a lot of this type of cake stands.
But this one's got a bit more age.
Before we talk about it a bit more, why have you got a cake stand?
-It was passed down to me from my father.
He was in the baking trade in his early days
and he used to do it in his spare time,
-make wedding cakes and christening cakes.
-So it was his hobby?
So, how many years ago are we talking about for this?
-Well, he died in 1968.
-Right, so he was baking as a hobby
in the '50s and '60s.
-Yeah, absolutely brilliant he was.
-It's exactly what it's for.
It's to show off and it has to be quite an impressive cake
to be shown off by. You stand it on the mirror
-and you have your tiers above.
-Three or four tiers.
If your dad was baking, what was your mum doing?
She was obviously making cakes as well.
-So it was a bit of a family thing.
-He'd decorate, she'd make.
-That's a nice story.
-I like that.
Often, the age is hidden anyway by the plating process.
You've got, obviously, the mirror here,
and I like this stippled effect, where it's starting to pull away
and it gives it the vintage age because, otherwise,
with a new mirror in it, it could have been made yesterday.
-Yeah, that's why I've left it as it was.
-And if we flip it over...
-Heavy, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
-Good solid ball feet.
Mark here is J D & S and EP on the end.
The EP is for electroplate, the JD is James Dixon & Sons.
They made silver and silver-plated wares
and it all ties in because the quality of these feet
and the whole plating is very, very good.
-And that's a nice little extra touch.
On the whole, we've got something which is very useful,
I've never seen one plated so well as that.
The plating's really important. It's a simple process.
It's just metal in a vat of silver nitrate solution.
But it depends on how long they leave it in there.
The extra cost would be more silver and then you leave it
in there longer as the silver thickens up, so you're right.
And, certainly, with polishing, and this would need to be cleaned,
you'd start to see the nickel reveal through areas,
and it's not doing that at all, so it's a pretty smart thing.
-Have you thought about the value at all?
-Um, not really.
As I say, I've had it covered up in the loft for several years
and as this came along,
I thought I'd bring it along and get it valued.
-I think between £60 and £100.
-Are you happy with that?
-And let's put a £55 reserve.
Just one bid below the £60 and you can gently coax people in.
-The whole thing is, like...
-Once you've got them on there,
you reel them in and they pay a little bit more.
-Next stop is the auction.
There's a good start from Jonathan.
Let's see what Thomas has got under his bonnet.
Lucy, thank you very much for bringing in your lovely inkwell.
-Tell me about it.
-I don't really know a lot.
What do you mean you don't really know a lot?
-Where did you get it from?
-It's from my mother.
-From your mother?
-Where do you think SHE got it from?
-Why did you bring it here today?
-I just wanted to know about it really.
-It's quite nice being a double inkwell, isn't it?
So you could have blue and red or red and black in either one.
How old do you think it is?
-Quite old, I expect.
I think it's older than you and it's older than me. It's 1921.
-Oh, right, as old as that?
-That's when this was made.
It's got the hallmarks here on the back
-and on the front there, for Birmingham, 1921.
It's an oval base, so it's really very art deco,
with these bold curves and shapes, with these lovely little circles,
and in really great materials - the silver and then the onyx.
It's that, sort of, age of opulence,
the age of using all the great materials we had
and sparing nothing.
For your humble inkwell, it's immense quality.
What I think is lovely are these fabulous lids.
The way they snap back up is great.
-So, you can imagine, then, writing letters was so important.
Email is now our preferred choice of communication
but the actual art of handwriting is now really lost.
-Yeah, it's a shame, really.
-It is a shame, isn't it?
Whereas, if you had something like this on your desk
and a quill pen or a dip pen,
you'd think, "Oh, I think I might start writing letters again
"to my friends and family."
-Have you ever used it?
-Where's it been in your house?
-In the cabinet.
-In the cabinet?
-Not on display?
Well, it is a display cabinet but there's far too much in there.
So, what's it worth? Well, I think it's worth £60 to £100.
The bottom estimate being £60, shall we reserve it at £50?
A tough cookie, aren't you?! £55. I agree, let's do it.
Put it £60 to £100, with a reserve of £55.
I think it's a sweet thing and if it doesn't make that, I'll eat my hat.
-I'd like to see that.
-I bet you would. It's a big one.
We'd ALL like to see that, Thomas! I can't wait for the auction.
If you want to take part in "Flog It!",
this is where your journey starts -
a valuation day very much like this one on Weston pier.
Details of up-and-coming dates and venues,
you can find on our BBC website.
If you don't have a computer, check the details in your local press
because, fingers crossed, we're coming to an area near you soon.
So, dust them down, bring them in and we'll flog them.
But first, Jonathan's found another treat.
-So, Madeline, good morning.
You've brought this wonderful thing. We saw it in the queue. I love it.
-How did you get it?
-It was my mum's.
-She died 20 years ago.
Do you know what it was for? Was it just a gift?
-Her original engagement ring wore through on the cluster.
And my father bought it for her to replace her original one.
-What a very lovely husband.
It's a sapphire and diamond cluster ring,
so you've got the circular sapphire in the middle
and then you've got a surround
of two, four, six, eight, ten diamonds.
We can measure those stones, so I know that, in total,
-we've got about 0.8 of a carat of diamonds there.
It's set in white gold with the claws
-and then 18-carat gold around the band.
Quite a traditional style, which is good.
-The hallmark on it is 1968.
I've looked at the main stone, the sapphire,
and looking at it with the light behind it,
you can see nice signs of its natural origin,
which is really good, cos you can make a sapphire in a laboratory.
Yeah? I didn't realise that.
It's aluminium oxide, it's simple as that,
and they use a bit of titanium and vanadium, and you get a sapphire.
It's got a nice colour.
-The crux of this conversation is value.
-What are you hoping for?
-About £600 to £800.
-Right, OK, OK.
We would say £400 to £600.
We might even say £500 to £700 and I think, at that level,
-you're going to get people interested.
-There's a fashion now for the sapphire and diamond cluster.
People know the retail value and cost of these
and, hopefully, there'll be an element of that
-which will push it on.
-But if you're happy,
I'd like you put it in at £500 to £700 with a £500 reserve.
-OK, that's fine.
-And then we'll let the auctioneer work his magic.
-I want to give some money to my granddaughter.
-She got a first in psychology at university.
-She got a first?
Yeah, and she's worked for two years but she wants to go back
-and do a masters or a PhD.
-So you want to help fund it.
I would like to help her out with it.
Well, we'll stand at the back of the room and we'll be egging them on
-to try and get some more money.
-OK, yeah. OK.
There you are. Our experts have been working flat out.
We have now found our first items to take off to auction.
I've got my favourites, you've probably got yours
but, right now, we're going to let the bidders decide.
Let's put those values to the test in the saleroom
and here's a quick recap of what's going "kah" under the hammer.
Will Thomas be eating his hat
when Lucy's inkwell goes under the hammer?
Madeline's hoping her diamond and sapphire ring
will help fund her granddaughter's studies.
Philip's cake stand reminds him of his father baking wedding
and birthday cakes, but will he be celebrating at the auction?
We're heading 11 miles up the road
to the beautiful seaside town of Clevedon,
home to the country's only functioning Grade I listed pier
and the world's oldest working purpose-built cinema
and, of course, today's auction venue, Clevedon Salerooms.
-On the rostrum is Marc Burridge.
-60. 60 bid.
And remember, there's always commission to pay.
It varies from room to room.
Here, today, it's 15% plus VAT.
Going under the hammer right now,
we have Madeline's diamond and sapphire ring.
It's a bit of a cluster. It is actually, isn't it?
-It is a big ring.
-Did you enjoy wearing it?
-I've only worn it a few times.
-It was my mother's.
-Why only a few times?
-It's a bit big.
-Is this right on the money?
-It's about right.
-Sapphire and diamond clusters are very classical.
It's helped along by Princess Catherine, whose engagement ring
was a sapphire and diamond cluster, so it's fashionable.
-It never goes out of fashion.
-So this could be a close one.
But you never know, auctions are full of surprises, aren't they?
I'd love to be surprised.
If I've got to take it home, I've got to take it home.
Exactly. Nothing's set in stone, is it?
Let's hope it sparkles and lights the saleroom up. Ready for this?
-Here we go.
Lot number 490 is an 18-carat gold ring with a circular sapphire.
Nice ring there and I have interest on the book again here.
-Interest. Come on.
-Not wasting time. 450.
-460. 470. 480.
510 I'll take, anyone in the room? 510 bid.
In the room and selling, then, at £510.
HE BANGS GAVEL
-There we are.
-Just about the reserve.
-Well done, you.
That's great. Just the start we wanted.
Now, we're all on tenterhooks for Thomas and his hat.
We're certainly doing battle, here in the saleroom,
but now, we're going to find out
if the pen is mightier than the sword,
because we've got a double inkwell going under the hammer.
I love this. It's got the deco look and it belongs to Lucy.
Absolutely adore it and so does this chap next to me.
-I absolutely adore it.
-It's very you.
Mmm, and I did say if it didn't sell for £55, I'd eat my hat.
-So, it's here.
-He's got a Paddington Bear hat, look.
-Has he got a marmalade sandwich in there?
-No marmalade sandwiches!
-I love this! Why are you selling it?
-Well, it's only in a cupboard.
It's just in a cupboard. It's beautiful.
And they've got this little sprung hinge to them.
-They're really quite cool.
-It's going under the hammer.
I want to see this double this man's estimate. Here we go.
The onyx inkstand there.
I'm bid 50. 5. 60 I'm bid.
And 5. 70 here. 75.
-I don't have to eat the hat!
75 in the room. Now 80? 80? 80?
Your bid, sir, at 75. Move me one at 80?
-All done then. Selling at 75.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
Yes, £75. It's gone.
That's a good start, Lucy, isn't it, for the clear-out?
It gave us great delight talking about it
and even though Thomas didn't eat his hat, you know.
-I'm pleased he didn't have to cos I wanted this to sell.
Thomas knows his stuff, so I knew his hat would be safe.
Going under the hammer right now, we have Philip's cake stand.
-In fact, your wedding cake was on this, wasn't it?
-It was on there.
I wonder what THAT would be worth right now if we flogged that.
But we've got a silver-plated cake stand.
-It's all the rage, with the Bake Off, isn't it?
-All the rage, yes.
What wedding cake doesn't look best presented on something like that?
Good luck with this because I like this a lot
and I think you'll find a new home for this very quickly.
-I hope so anyway.
-There aren't that many around, as classical as this?
No, you can see the age and the quality of that one.
Here we go. Let's put it to the test.
Lot 75. Silver-plated cake stand
on the ball feet. Three bids with me.
-I'm starting at 55, 65,
95, 100, will you?
100, will you?
100, will you? All done then?
HE BANGS GAVEL
-Hammer's gone down.
Straight in and straight out. See, that was in demand.
Quality and what do we always say? Quality always sells.
I hope you enjoyed that as well.
70, 70, 70. 5.
80, sir. 5. 90.
There you are. That's our first lots done and dusted, under the hammer.
So far, so good.
Before we head back to the pier at Weston-super-Mare
to find some more antiques to put to the test,
I've been finding out a bit more
about the origin and the history of our venue.
Even on a dull, murky day,
there's something special about the seaside.
The sea mist shrouding the coast
just adds to that magical atmosphere.
When you think of the seaside, you immediately conjure up images
of children playing in the sand, building sandcastles,
sticks of rock, fish and chips, a ride on a donkey -
there's one just back there -
and, of course, the pier, for me,
the most iconic symbol of any British seaside town.
And we all love to have a walk on the pier.
Now, here in the Southwest,
on this stretch of coastline of North Somerset,
there's three piers within the space of 12 miles.
Each one of them, in their own way, tells a fascinating story
of great British engineering and the seaside holiday in its heyday.
The first pier to be built along this stretch
of the North Somerset coast was Birnbeck in 1867.
It's Weston-super-Mare's first pier.
Following closely on its heels, and just 11 miles away,
Clevedon Pier opened on Easter Monday in 1869,
making Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier the last to be built.
The story of these three piers tells the rise and the fall
of the British seaside pier.
The flurry of pier-building along Britain's coastlines was due,
in part, to some significant social and economic changes of the time.
Holidays were once the preserve of the upper classes.
They could afford to travel anywhere,
but for the working classes,
that happened in the middle of the 19th century,
with the coming together of the railway network,
enabling cheaper travel.
Combine that with the Factories Act of 1850
and the Bank Holidays Act of 1871,
giving workers the right to time off, all of a sudden,
there was a brand-new captive holiday market.
And the seaside was definitely the place to go.
The Victorians believed that having a dip in the cold, salty water
and breathing in the invigorating fresh air
had restorative, health-giving qualities.
This, in turn, gave rise to the golden age of pier-building,
as seaside towns up and down the country
capitalised on this new wave of tourism.
Piers began popping up all over the country.
Around 80 were built between 1854 and 1904.
It was the first golden age of the seaside resort.
The Southwest was quick to make its mark.
Birnbeck was the first of the three piers
to be built along this coastline and it's unique among piers,
as it's the only one to link the mainland to an island.
Building Birnbeck was an engineering challenge.
15 groups of wrought and cast-iron columns were floated
across from Newport and screwed together into the sea bed.
This 1,040-foot pier was opened to a fanfare in 1867,
with the day being declared a Bank Holiday.
Paddle steamers brought day trippers across the Bristol Channel
to enjoy the delights of the pier,
which included fairground rides, cafes and a water chute.
It's really hard to imagine now, when you look at Birnbeck,
that it was once a successful and thriving business.
To find out more about its illustrious history
and how it fell into such a state of disrepair,
I've come to meet up with historian John Crockford-Hawley
to find out more.
John, it's in a sorry old state now, looking at it today,
-but it wasn't always like that.
In its heyday, it would be nothing to have six ships waiting
to unload passengers and 15,000 people a day on the pier.
-15,000 people a day!
-It was THE place to come.
-It was big business.
-Huge business, yes.
So, what happened to it, once the Grand Pier was built?
What was the competition like?
Its livelihood was there as long as the paddle steamers came in.
-Right, and that's to offload and onload passengers.
That's how it made its money.
It was partly that and the amusement arcades,
until the Grand Pier opened, and that was the competition.
This place really began to decline as a pier of entertainment.
What sort of purpose did this one serve during the Second World War?
It was taken over by the Ministry of Miscellaneous Weapons Development.
I've never heard of that before.
They were known as the Wheezers and Dodgers.
These great academics came down, chucking things into the sea
-and counting how many times they bounced.
-The bouncing bomb, I guess.
From where the bouncing bomb came. It was given a ship's designation,
so when the Germans announced, one day, they had sunk HMS Birnbeck,
everyone went, "Yes? Pull the other one!"
It's still here! So, what was its demise? What turned its fate around?
The change in tourism.
The English were going to Spain for their holidays.
The Severn Bridge opened,
which meant people could come to Weston-super-Mare by car
and, to make matters worse,
Wales began to allow people to drink on a Sunday.
So, they didn't come over from Wales to have a pint.
Paddle steamer would come on a Sunday,
people would have a drink here, then go back to Wales.
The stories of Cwm Rhondda being heard in mid-Channel,
as the last ship went home, is legend.
-All that changed.
-Ah. It's sad to see it like that, it really is.
-What's your opinion on what's going to happen to it?
Well, if nothing is done, she's going to fall into the sea.
-You can see that.
-And that'll be the end of her.
But it's owned by a businessman who wants to get planning permission
to build flats on there and flats on the landward side.
And there's the big issue.
Do you allow it to be destroyed, visually,
for its economic future or do you say,
"Goodbye, old girl, off you go into the sea"?
Sad as it is to see Birnbeck Pier today, it's worth saying that,
without it, it's highly unlikely this pier would have been built.
By the end of the 19 century, Birnbeck, over there,
was making so much money that the great and the good
of Weston-super-Mare just there, looked out across the water
and thought, "Yeah, we want some of that."
So, plans were drawn up and finances put in place
to build a brand-new pier,
smack bang right in the middle of town.
The Grand Pier opened in 1904,
a relative latecomer, really, to the game.
It was quite an undertaking,
constructed of more than 4,000 tons of ironwork
and over a quarter of a mile of decking.
But, in order to attract visitors,
it went down a different route from its neighbour.
What made it special
was the 2,000-seater Pavilion Theatre and bandstand,
offering the crowds an alternative type of entertainment.
But things weren't plain sailing for the Grand Pier.
Tidal problems meant steamers couldn't dock there.
However, the Grand Pier's location did prove to be an advantage
over its neighbour, as it was right in the heart of Weston.
In the end, it was the Grand Pier that flourished,
becoming a successful purpose-built pleasure pier in the 1930s,
moving with the times. Its success was mirrored by Birnbeck's decline.
While the Grand Pier went from strength to strength
in the following decades,
the Birnbeck fell into a greater state of disrepair,
finally closing to the general public in 1994.
But out of the three piers along this 11-mile stretch
of North Somerset coastline,
my favourite has to be the graceful elegance of Clevedon Pier.
Unlike its neighbours, Birnbeck and the Grand Pier,
it wasn't a place of entertainment,
but rather a functional landing jetty.
It provided a new, fast route to Wales by steamer.
Before the pier, travelling to Wales by train
meant a much longer journey.
New transport links hastened
the pier's demise as a commuter route
but, luckily, it was able to capitalise on holiday-makers
with paddle steamer day trips.
Fast forward 100 years or so,
and Clevedon remains very much a tourist attraction
at the centre of the town.
This small stretch of North Somerset coastline sums up the fate
of this great British icon. Here we have Clevedon Pier.
It's gone down the heritage route.
And then you have the Grand Pier at Weston,
a hugely successful business model,
offering millions of visitors seaside fun and entertainment.
And then, its neighbour, Birnbeck,
that sadly lost out in the ebb and flow of history
and its fate looks very much uncertain.
Welcome back to our host location, the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare.
Let's get down on the ground floor to the valuation tables
and catch up with our experts
to see what other treasures we can find to take off to auction.
You don't sound like you're from North Somerset, do you?
-No, I'm from Wales.
-And you've brought this Hohner accordion.
Tell me about it. How did you come to own it?
It's my uncle's and he left it to me when he died.
And I've had it for about 20 years.
-And what have you done with it in those 20 years?
-It's been in the box.
-It's been in the box?
-Cos it's got the original case, hasn't it?
-And do you remember your uncle playing it?
-Yes, a little bit.
-They look very complicated, don't they?
-It's made by Hohner.
-Do you know anything about Hohner?
-I know it's German, that's all.
Yeah, Matthias Hohner was very, very well-known
for making harmonicas
and him and his wife and his assistant set up,
in the mid-19th century, in Germany,
and in the first year, they made, like, 650 of them -
just the three of them, making these harmonicas.
It created a huge business.
I don't know anybody who plays the harmonica now
but we see them quite a lot at auction.
He also made accordions. This is in remarkable condition.
-You said you remembered your uncle playing it.
-Has anybody else played it since?
I'm not going to play it because it will make a racket. I have no idea.
But all I know, it's got it on here, a "Double-Ray"
and it's also got this name here, Black Dot,
and I'm presuming, because this here, there's a black dot here.
Greater minds and greater musicians than me
-will tell you what that black dot does.
This is unusual, having the eight keys here.
Normally they have 12 and these are the bass keys, I know that.
So this is in great condition.
When it comes to value, I think a wide estimate. £60 to £100.
-I would like to reserve this at £60.
-Are you happy with that?
-I think that's sensible. We've also got the bill of sale.
-Do you think this is your uncle buying it? Is this his name?
-Midway through the Second World War.
Do you think he entertained the troops with it?
-Oh, no, I don't think so.
-No? Was he in a protected position at work?
-Well, he was in the mines.
-Well, he was protected.
-They couldn't fight, could they?
-That must have been quite a big thing, really.
You probably wanted to go and support your country,
-but you had to be working... In the coal mines?
-Coal mines, yes.
-Gosh, so he would have played this in the coal mine social club.
I think that's a really interesting story.
-I look forward to seeing you at the auction.
-£60 to £100.
-Fix the reserve at £60 and we'll go from there.
-Thank you very much.
The accordion has been entertaining people for centuries,
believed to have been invented in Berlin in the 1800s.
The accordion is affectionately known as the squeeze-box,
often associated with French cafes and travelling bands.
In 1844, a polka dance craze swept through Paris and weeks later,
it spread to London, confirming the popularity of the accordion
as the best accompaniment to this bohemian dance.
It remains a favourite with folk musicians the world over,
as it is louder than other instruments
and can be heard over the stomping of feet.
And from musical memories
to magical moments of excitement from today's venue.
I'm leaving the pavilion and experts, for a moment,
to meet a woman for whom the Grand Pier is so special,
that she made sure she was one of the first people
on the newly reopened pier in 2010.
-Thanks for coming on the pier and talking to me today.
What is your fascination with the Grand?
Well, my family's been visiting Weston-super-Mare
and the Grand Pier ever since the early 1940s, actually.
My father used to come here as a boy.
-They used to stay here in a bed and breakfast.
-And this is a picture of my father.
-Oh, gosh, how sweet.
And, obviously you were on the beach as a young girl.
Yes, this is me. We would spend the day on the beach
and then it would always end with a trip to the pier,
which we were so excited about.
One of my favourite things we used to look out for
was a 50p on the floor.
There was one stuck to the floorboards as a joke
and we used to stand by and watch everybody going,
"Ooh, a 50 pence, let's pick it up," and then they couldn't, you know.
We'd just stand there, laughing at people. It was great fun.
No doubt someone did scoop it up one day.
They probably brought a chisel along and thought, "I'm having that!"
Yeah, I expect so. I think my favourite ride,
at the time, was the ghost train, although I don't know why
because it scared me to death. I didn't actually see what was in it
because I covered my face with my hands for the entire journey.
But it's the thing I remember most about the pier, the ghost train.
Walking up the boardwalk was like walking on a rainbow
with a great big pot of gold at the end, it was so exciting.
Lots of happy memories.
Yes, it's part of my history, my family history.
Back in the pavilion and everyone's having fun,
but our experts are still hard at work.
Jonathan's got his hands on a piece of Tony and Mary's family silver.
This wonderful little purse you've brought along.
It was gift. 25th anniversary.
It was an anniversary present, OK. And who bought it?
It was a great friend who taught Mary
-a great deal about antiques and the beauty of them.
This is while I was working, designing and making furniture.
-So, cabinet maker is your trade?
-My trade, yes.
Whilst you were doing that, Mary was learning about antiques.
-Is silver your favourite thing?
-One of them. Shares is another.
-You'll invest this in shares?
That's if the grandkids don't get there first.
Well, it's a very nice thing
and I'm guessing a quick twist at the top, like that....
-Isn't that beautiful?
-It springs open. All silver.
So, you've got...a Birmingham mark, 1912, sterling standard.
-The maker's mark's a little bit worn.
But the other marks are crisp and you've got a registered mark too,
which is like a patent mark on there.
-So, it's got all those things.
It's a good design, made of solid silver,
but this is worth more than that,
-it's worth more than the silver value.
-It is, really.
Why do you want to get rid of it?
-We've downsized, love.
-We've downsized and this is stored away.
I think it's a really nice thing.
It's 1912, it's pre-war, so it's the end of that classical era.
I rather like it, I think it's beautifully made.
I think we should be able to get £100 to £150 for it.
-What do you think, Mary?
-Not as much as I thought.
If you get £150, I think you're doing rather well,
but if you want to protect it at £100, or just below,
-would be rather good.
-Well, we'll go by your expertise.
-I think a minimum £90, wasn't it?
-Are you happy with that?
-That's what we call discretion.
A reserve of £90, no less than that. We'll make more than that.
-I think you will.
-I think so, yeah.
-We'll see, but it's a nice thing,
it's just right for the auction and I'm sure we'll do well with it.
I'm glad to hear it. Thank you very, very much. Thank you.
Mary's hoping her beautiful 1920s purse
will pay bigger dividends at auction.
They're a tough crowd, here in Weston-super-Mare.
Let's hope Thomas doesn't hit a negative note with his next item.
-It's lights, camera, action, isn't it?
-Something like that, yeah.
-It's Lindsay, isn't it?
How did you come by this Speed Graphic camera?
30 years ago, when my husband was in Hackney, in London,
it was in a building they rented
and they were told to clear out after the business closed down.
There were two cameras - a modern one from the 1980s,
which they used to do a lot of filming, and this one.
He had a choice of one or the other.
Which one do you think was the better investment?
I think this one was the investment. The other would not be worth it.
-They're very heavy.
-Oh, really? Was he a photographer himself?
He was a photographer in the RAF.
-Yeah. Late husband.
-Oh, I'm sorry.
And I suppose it was just there and it came home.
We've put it in two or three lofts, as we've moved,
and just about to downsize after five children and it's not needed.
-And you thought, "Ooh."
-Yeah, I need to sell it, get rid of it.
So, the Speed Graphic camera.
These were commonly used by the press in the 1940s, 1950s,
and you've got a bit of harping back to the earlier days,
with the mahogany tripods.
I love the bellows here and the five by four at the back...
-Yeah, at the back.
-..for the plates.
But you've also got these bits here.
-These are the cases which they go into.
-Yeah, the film goes inside.
The film goes inside and you've got this wonderful Air Ministry lens.
-The wide-angle Ross Air Ministry lens.
-That's got to be worth at least £40 on its own.
Then you've got the camera to look at as well.
-Yeah, it's a good decorator's piece.
We sell a lot of cameras and they are very popular these days.
-People are going back to film.
And they like them as decorator's pieces. It looks fabulous.
-All these years...
-..you've had it in the loft.
-And you're happy to sell it?
-Happy to sell it.
Shall we put a blanket figure of £100 on the whole thing?
-Mmm, probably a bit more.
-What do you want?
I think £200 might be a bit punchy.
-I think you might be pushing your luck there.
Yeah, we'll see.
I don't particularly want to bring it home, put it that way.
-So, shall we say £120 to £180?
-Reserve it at £120?
-And see where we end up?
-Cos there's a lot here, isn't there?
-Yeah, and it's American, and they've got more money than us.
This might not go to the Americans. It might stay here.
-OK, we'll do that then.
-We'll see you at the auction.
-Thank you very much.
-Let's hope it gets great exposure.
From the very start, it's been a day of reminiscing and memories...
-I am a local boy!
-Are you really?
I am a local boy. I used to come with my grandmother.
..and romantic stories.
My father bought it for her to replace her original one.
And it's not surprising, as piers are not only places
of fun and excitement, but they're also nostalgic settings,
from Saffron's childhood delight to her parents' romance.
Her dad took this photograph of her mum on the pier
while they were courting in the 1960s.
There's just something about seaside piers,
whether it's the grace and beauty bringing out the romantic in us,
or the magical fun, evoking childhood memories.
Sadly, it's time to say goodbye to the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare.
Our experts have found their final items to go under the hammer,
so we have to say goodbye.
But I'll see you in the auction rooms
and here's a quick recap of our experts' final choices.
I'm going to hit the road to the Clevedon Salerooms.
Will it be sweet music at the auction with Lynette's accordion?
Jonathan's valued Tony and Mary's silver purse
but Mary thinks it will go for more. Who will be right?
Lindsay's camera and tripod is a stylish bit of kit
but will the bidders agree and snap it up?
So, time for our last visit to the auction room.
Let's hope it's full, as Lynette has come all the way from South Wales.
Years ago, you could have got the ferry
-and got dropped off at the pier.
We're just about to sell the accordion.
We talk about provenance on the show.
This has got its original bill of sale.
-1941, £6, which was a lot of money back then!
-It was, wasn't it?
-And it's in amazing condition.
-Yeah. Did you ever play it?
-Who played it then?
-Not for me. Drumming or guitar for me.
-You are a musician, aren't you?
-You've got it in you.
I tell you what - there's a few musical instruments here,
so you're in good company.
Let's do it. Here we go, Lynette.
Black Dot accordion. There it goes, with its case.
-I have interest again, on the book.
65, will you? 65? 65 in the room.
-We want more, don't we?
-It's in good nick.
80, 80, 80 now? 80, 80, 80, anyone else?
-All done then. Selling at £75.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
-We're happy, we're smiling.
-I think that's a result.
-I do as well.
Thomas hit just the right note to bring a smile to Lynette's face.
Let's hope Jonathan doesn't disappoint Tony and Mary.
Good to see you both again. How've you been since the valuation day?
-Not too bad at all, thank you.
-Yes, thank you.
Remind me why you're selling the silver purse.
-We thought it was time to.
-Bit of a clear-out.
Cos I know you are silver collectors, aren't you? Or you were.
-It's not a bad time to be selling.
The silver price has gone up but novelty still sells,
it's good quality, so it's got the right attributes to do really well.
-OK. Let's put it under the hammer. Ready for this?
This is what we've been waiting for. Here we go.
The silver visiting card case there, in the form of an evening purse,
with the suspension chain. Birmingham, 1912.
Interest here again. 70 here.
85 and 90.
90 in the room. And 5.
95. And 100, sir.
Now 10. 110. 120.
-Hit the reserve.
150? Bidder's in the room. And selling, on £140 now.
HE BANGS GAVEL Hammer's gone down.
-Just under the top estimate.
-We know we've done well.
Fingers crossed, we'll score a hat-trick
and make Lindsay just as happy.
In the frame right now, we have a camera,
tripod and some lenses, belonging to Lindsay.
-I'm going to join you here.
-We've got our expert, Thomas, here,
-who loves camera sales, by the way.
-Yes, I know, he was cooing over it.
-Becoming a bit of a camera expert, is our Thomas.
-I'm not really.
-Anyway, this is really good kit, isn't it?
-Yeah, it's lovely.
Are you decluttering or raising money?
-No, we're decluttering cos I'm moving.
This is a cracking lot. Fingers crossed.
It's had a lot of exposure in the catalogue, on the net,
and we're going to sell this at the top end of Thomas's estimate.
-I hope there's some snappy bidders.
-It's going under the hammer.
Vintage camera there. And I have 85 here.
90 now. 90, thank you. 100.
-You've sold it.
-120, back of the room.
-£150 then, nearest me.
-Get in there! Yes!
-160. 170. 180.
190. 200. 210.
230. 240? 240.
250? No? 250, anyone else? 240 in the room.
Looking at me then and selling, make no mistake.
-All done at 240.
-HE BANGS GAVEL
That's superb, isn't it?
£240 and that hammer's gone down. Crack!
-It wasn't me.
-It wasn't me.
It wasn't me either, it was the hammer.
I really didn't break anything, honest!
But what a cracking final lot and a great way to round off the day.
As you can see, the sale is just about to come to an end.
We have had a fabulous day, here in Weston-super-Mare.
All credit to our experts. They were on the money.
I hope you've enjoyed the show.
See you again soon for more surprises from auction rooms
all around the country, but until then, it's goodbye.